Do As I Say, Not As I Do....

So most of my blogs have been about developing yourself, but what if someone works for you who has development areas but they don't realise?  How do you get them to recognise a gap that they would benefit from working on?

I'm quite keen on not telling people what they 'should' do... That applies for work and also home life... It's amazing when you become a parent how many people tell you what you 'should' and 'shouldn't' do!... 

‘You should feed on demand’

‘you should feed them every 3 hours’

‘you should never wake a sleeping baby’

‘you should never let a baby sleep after 5pm’!!! 

The truth is, whether it's as a parent, buying a house or developing at work, you need to do what's right for you as an individual - no one likes being told what to do!

However, as a manager you sometimes need to help people identify the areas where they can improve. The key for me is to get them to identify the gap themselves rather than you tell them. This can sometimes take a while but I believe it's much more effective.


Depending on what you're trying to unlock, you can ask questions like;

If you were applying for the same role as your peers, where would they be stronger?

What traits in other people do you admire?

How do you believe a certain situation could have gone better?

What do you believe is stopping you being the best version of you?

What do you think could make you more effective / successful?


The conversation and questions will vary, but if you spend enough time, you should be able to tease out of them where they have gaps. Plan the conversation and help them identify what's in it for them if they improve that area, not why it would make your life better / easier.


If you think about it, if someone told you that you needed to change you wouldn’t necessarily believe it or be motivated. However, if you identified your own areas of improvements and asked for help, then you would naturally work much harder to improve or develop...


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